Sample Accessioning

by Jill Hesse on November 4, 2015 in Technology
Sample Accessioning | Clarity LIMS

Sample accessioning refers to the process of accepting samples into the lab and entering sample data into a laboratory computer system so that each sample can receive a unique identification number for tracking purposes. All laboratory procedures are important, but arguably accessioning holds a high rank: it’s what ties a sample to its patient source. Not having an unassailable process in place for accessioning can have profound, negative effects on patient safety.

The process of sample accessioning sounds relatively straightforward. You get the samples and you record them in the computer – what’s so hard about that? However, for many labs, it can be a source of frustration because of the many ways they can receive samples and the variety of samples they do receive. It can also be a source of error and inefficiency. In one study, a large lab introduced 17,000 errors in one month during the accessioning process (1). Given that the process is prone to human error and is time consuming, technology can play a critical role in improving it. Indeed, many labs have implemented automation and barcoding techniques and these labs have noted increased productivity, decreased error rates, and improved patient safety (2).

However, the fact remains that novel techniques are always the norm in a molecular genetics lab and for new or one-off tests, automation isn’t always possible or appropriate. In these cases, labs need the flexibility of enabling automation or not. If non-automated methods are used, labs need some sort of validation when entering data to prevent data entry errors. To summarize, labs need a variety of ways to accession samples into their systems – all that are intuitive, convenient, and reduce the potential for human error.

BaseSpace Clarity LIMS provides much-needed flexibility by offering labs a number of different ways to accession samples that also help prevent errors from proliferating throughout the lab. These include:

The Sample Accessioning/Add Samples screen is a new feature available in BaseSpace Clarity LIMS. With it users can enter LIMS-required sample information, and BaseSpace Clarity LIMS will validate these data upon entry. Additionally, users can attach any files to samples, and even add custom fields to the sample while uploading it into the LIMS.

Sample accessioning in Clarity LIMS

Sample accessioning in BaseSpace Clarity LIMS

Every lab is different and receives sample in different ways. Find out how BaseSpace Clarity LIMS can accommodate all of the ways you receive samples in your lab.

Learn More About BaseSpace Clarity LIMS


  1. Holman JW, Mifflin TE, Demers LM, Felder RA. Clinical evaluation of an automated pre-analytical robotic workstation at two locations. Clin Chem 2002;48:3, 540-548.
  2. Felder, Robin A. Rethinking the Accessioning Process. Advance Health Network. Volume 12, issue 9, page 51.